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Subject: A fine show for the era
I personally prefer to write and read reviews that are in the context of the era, but that's just me. This is a fine show from a very fine tour for the early-80s incarnation of the greatest band on earth.
Now, as for the debate on this page, both sides are half right and half wrong, I think. I certainly agree that the best years of Grateful Dead music are from the 60s and 70s, and even though I was too young to see them then (my first was in high school, in 1985) I'm well aware that in the early years there was a personal, musical and psychedelic intensity that goes beyond what we experienced later. So in that sense the crotchety old guy is right.
Where he's wrong is that he came off like a condescending jerk while doing it. It's not just what you say, but how you say it.
There's a significant subjective component to music appreciation, and also a very real objective one. I can't understand people who say that the early 80s are just as good as the early 70s (or better, as a few even claim), and in many cases there are objective reasons to say they're wrong...some of it depends on what you like...but all of this nonsense could be avoided if people would just learn to talk about "my favorite" or "I prefer this over that" instead of just saying What It Is.
None of us are qualified to do that. If you don't get that everyone's POV on the Dead is valid on some level, I can guarantee that you're completely missing the point, because this is something Garcia himself hammered over and over in interviews.
Bottom line - if you like this era of Dead you'll probably like this show, and if not, not. If you don't know, check it out, it's an above average representation of the period and a fine example of the style of the time.
Enjoy, and peace
Subject: Bitter or realistic?
It seems to me that the 'old man' wasn't bitter at all; he's just making an observation. It's my guess that the negative reaction to his comments stem from INEXPERIENCE. I saw them 175 or 180 times, yes, but the best part of my GD experience is that I saw them almost every year over a 25 year period (5-15-70, Kirkwood Community College through the St. Louis shows before the final Chicago shows). Those of you who are criticizing him, did you see a bunch (about 85 or 90 for me) of shows between '70 and '78 or '79? I'm here to tell you that if you had, you'd know FROM EXPERIENCE that after that the boys never really played the same way that gave them their reputation. Did they play great shows after '79? Sure, on occasion, but never were they the force that they were in earlier years. It's not being bitter, people, it's reality. Thanks for letting me share, BW
Subject: I hope when I grow old I don't become bitter..
Great sound again Mr Miller!! Crisp and Clear..This show is a barn burner!!!! Listened a couple of times and I think I'm in love..so please>GIVE IT A WHIRL..Some Are Grateful>Summer Dead!!!
Subject: jewel of the summer tour
as another old timer, I was on tour that summer and this was the most memorable show from that tour. a full moon, the starlight amphitheater, great crowd and beautiful venue. The sound was great there and Jerry was on and singing and playing beautifully. A real jewel of a show capped with a honkin casey jones encore! loved it!
Subject: Don't be bitter, old man
Comments like yours detract from the spirit of the general conversation about Grateful Dead music that has been ongoing for so many years now. Why the need to insult people? Why the sanctimoniousness?
Not everyone worships at the same altar as you. Please spare us the trotting out of the old sacred cow that no performance outside of '68 through '74 (or wherever you put the bookends) can ever be considered as good as one inside of those dates.
Take a piece of music like the Stranger from 7-17-89. Jerry's solo is jazz, and it is masterful. He hints at an idea, then goes off to pursue another related but clearly distinct musical idea, then returns to the original riff and nails it home. It is nothing like a scorching Viola Lee solo from '68 or a mind-melting '72 Dark Star, but it is no less good.
If you don't think that the '80s have some great playing by Jerry, some of it up there with his best, even if different, I feel sorry for you. Perhaps you need to expand your listening mind.
This show has some great playing. Maybe not Earth-shattering, as Dead shows go, nonetheless a great band in great form.
Subject: Jerry's best??
This was a good fun show. The Stella Blue was nice, as was To Lay Me Down. A wonderful selection of Jerry tunes......but you gotta be a twelve year old to think this is the best Stella and To Lay me Down ever, PLEASE! And, the Stella Blue is not cut, it just loses levels. If you think '82 has Jerry's best work ever you must be a Phish fan who never actually saw Jerry live!
Subject: True Gem
Fantastic show front to back, had this one on tape for years (AUD source) that saw a lot of play.
This is a "Jerry" night in so many ways (Althea, PeggyO, Big RxR) despite a somewhat shot voice, the playing is consistently awesome, on point, on time, and inspired.
highlights (so many):
Mississippi -> Franklins (across the river grandeo and the ->)
Peggy-O reaches into the fantastic soundscape and takes on a dreamy story quality (same goes with Althea)
Cumberland has a very good pace here along with Big RxR Blues
of course no review can ignore the superior Lay me Down and Stella Blue, perhaps the two best cuts of these songs ever done by the GD.
UNFORTUNATELY Stella is CUT, BRUTALLY right where Jerry took off into the stratosphere which as we all know, did not happen very often with Stella.
With that caveat, if you have not heard this show, it is absolutely worth it. Good evidence for the uneven 80's producing some of the greatest work Jerry ever produced.
Well played. Nice upgrade from Charlie too. Could use a little more bass if you've no subwoofer but I ain't complaining.
Subject: soggy and hot
God, it was hot and humid that day. Really great show. A full moon rose over the ivy-covered towers on either side of the Starlight, which was built way back when and is not one of these cookie-cutter, crappy-sounding sheds in the suburbs of every city in America.